The recent report reveals that Ngee Ann Polytechnic, a Singaporean education institution is set on blockchain technology to issue ‘tamper-resistant’ digital certificates. Accordingly, graduate students from local schools, junior colleges, and tertiary institutions will obtain digital certifications from this year.
It was first confirmed by Singapore Education Minister Ong Ye Kung on May 03, 2019 – per the announcement, a Government-led initiative ‘OpenCerts’ which is powered by Ethereum blockchain -will cover 18 educational institutions to processed digital certificates for graduate students in Singapore. The Opencert is a collective effort by the Ministry of Education (MOE), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), and National Ann Polytechnic (NP).
The update looks quite surprising to the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin who took Twitter and appreciates the initiation. He states as follows;
However, his tweet quickly gained much attention with both positive as well as criticizing comments. One such user criticized his opinion of using blockchain for certification’ – with this, he states ‘You don’t need a blockchain for this. Given a valid certificate, to check revocation status you can simply ask the issuing institution’. As a response to this comment, Vitalik posted continued tweets and justified why digital certifications based on blockchain is worth considering in Singapore.
You only need the blockchain for the *revocation* list; certificates that have been *issued* would simply be signed (and this is how this specific app actually works).
The decision to employ ETH powered Opercert blockchain platforms comes as a solution to resolve productivity issues. This process purges two key requirements – physically leveraged document and verification mechanism.
Concerning what Opencerts will do in educational institutions, Ngee Ann Polytechnic Principal Clarence Ti says that;
“We issue over 4,000 diploma certificates and other kinds of certificates every year. The process of verifying the authenticity of certificates can be very manual,” he explained. “With blockchain, we can simplify this process, make it user-driven, and boost productivity. Not only will this help students effectively kickstart their career, but employers also get them on board with minimal hassle.”
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